With the injuries we have had to our center backs we felt it was important to add a talented experienced center back and we got that with Brandon (McDonald). —Garth Lagerwey, RSL general manager

SANDY — Real Salt Lake announced Wednesday that it has acquired DF Brandon McDonald from D.C. United in exchange for future draft picks.

McDonald joins Real Salt Lake after spending the last two years with D.C., where he made 63 regular season appearances, 62 starts, scored three goals and registered five assists. The 27-year-old McDonald has 137 career regular season appearances, 126 starts, seven goals and nine assists in five plus seasons in MLS.

A Phoenix native, McDonald grew up playing youth soccer with RSL FW Robbie Findley and spent more than a year as Claret-and-Cobalt MF Khari Stephenson’s roommate while both played with the San Jose Earthquakes.

In exchange for McDonald, RSL is giving away a third-round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and a conditional pick in 2015.

McDonald comes to Real Salt Lake to shore up the RSL back line. Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Chris Schuler and Carlos Salcedo are all currently injured, and Watson-Siriboe is out for the year with a torn ACL. In order to make room for McDonald on the roster, Real Salt Lake has moved defender Rich Balchan to the disabled list. Balchan hasn’t played since undergoing shoulder surgery in May.

“With the injuries we have had to our center backs we felt it was important to add a talented experienced center back and we got that with Brandon,” RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey said. “We expect him to be a good fit for us both on and off the field as we continue to try and improve our team.”

McDonald will be available for selection on Saturday, when RSL hosts Sporting Kansas City at 8 p.m. MST at Rio Tinto Stadium.

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